Supernatural has often ended seasons with one Winchester Brother yelling emotionally for the other. Season seven, however, ended with an ominous message that for the first real time, Sam (Jared Padalecki) was well and truly alone. He was left on Earth while his brother was banished and the rest of his family and hunter buddies were dead. The message of being on his own was similarly driven home for Dean (Jensen Ackles), standing by his own lonesome in the densely populated woods of Purgatory.
How could the two manage to survive, let alone hunt the things that go bump in the night, without each other?
Well, that is still to be explored through flashbacks that inform both brothers’ off-screen year’s experiences as season eight unfolds. What we know now, though, from the season premiere, “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” is that Dean is back, and he’s once again pulled his brother back into “the life,” though neither of them can quite let go of the experiences or emotions that come from the past year apart.